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Finding balance is a constant when it comes to a full and busy life — always assessing what is and isn’t working. As a woman, you’re likely already managing at least fifty different things on the daily — family, work, hobbies, sleep, friendships, and your emotional and physical health. One aspect of that emotional and physical health is the gut and vaginal microbiomes that exist in the body, containing trillions of microorganisms comprised mostly of bacteria. Perhaps you’re familiar with the gut microbiome — and maybe even the vaginal microbiome. But if you aren’t, it’s time to understand how your vaginal health may reflect your overall health and wellness.
Vaginas, generally speaking, are resilient and remarkable at self-maintaining. When something is thrown out of whack, there are different strategies the vagina employs to alert you. A quick and easy way to determine if things are thriving in the vaginal microbiome can be through the vaginal pH. That’s right. Just like in high school chemistry, when you tested how acidic something was with that little colored litmus paper.
The bacteria in our body can get thrown off by diet, travel, and so many other things. And you can support and nurture your body’s microbiome through carefully crafted probiotics supplements as well as some other supplements.
Below, we’ll dive deep into the 3 best probiotics for women & probiotics for womens benefits, the vaginal microbiome, why a woman’s pH matters, as well as how probiotics specifically formulated for women’s health may help make a difference.
Overall Best Probiotic for Women: Probulin Women’s Total Care
When choosing a probiotic designed to support and balance a woman’s pH, the biggest question you can ask yourself is: why do I want to take a probiotic?
Perhaps you just want extra support for the vaginal and gut flora. Thankfully, there are brands that have created probiotics specifically tailored to the needs of a woman’s body.
Probulin Total Care Women’s UT Probiotic is ranked best overall for total body support. It contains four unique probiotic strains for the female urinary tract that include :
- Lactobacillus fermentum
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
A great probiotic is one that has a high survival rate of bacteria.
Developed by a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor, Jason Mitchell N.D., Probulin Total Care Women’s UT Probiotic are a cut above the rest with effective delivery using a system that protects and nourishes these beneficial bacteria so they arrive alive.
This probiotic for women’s health includes pre-and postbiotic that aid in delivery and survival rates. What good is a probiotic that can’t survive the journey from the warehouse to your home, and then from your hands to your gut and vagina?
Probulin Total Care Women’s UT Probiotic capsules are shelf-stable, vegan, and free from soy, gluten, dairy, and GMOs and is one of the best probiotics for women out there.
What Is The Vaginal Microbiome
A microbiome comprises all of the microbes’ genetic material that live on and in the body, including bacteria, viruses, and yeasts. When you think of a microbiome, perhaps you immediately think of the gut. While the gut does have its own microbiome, the vagina does as well, although it is less studied.
The vagina is made up of a dynamic and complex community of bacteria — the most common type being the lactobacillus species — that work together to create a typically well-functioning ecosystem that supports the body from a whole host of different perspectives. Lactobacillus species produces lactic acid, which is a necessary component of a healthy and highly acidic vagina.
According to research it is believed that the lactic acid bacteria may act as a microbial soldier of sorts — beyond its duty to help maintain a proper pH level — they may also help protect the microbiome by supporting healthy bacteria balance.
Best Budget Probiotic For Women: Jarrow Formulas Jarro-Dophilus Women
If you’re looking for a targeted probiotic that is friendly on the wallet, Jarro-Dophilus Women’s Probiotic might be your perfect match! It contains the four main strains that are naturally found in the vagina and helps to support vaginal pH.
Jarrow Formulas Dophilus Women’s Probiotic is a simple and effective probiotic blend for those looking for a budget option to support this massive bacterial community within the body. If you’re curious about the normal vaginal pH of the vagina, keep reading.
What Is A Normal Vaginal pH
The pH of the vagina is very acidic, often referred to as a hostile environment to foreign intruders that come into contact with this microbiome. For most women, a typical pH is usually less than 4.5, while any pH below 7 is considered acidic. This high-acidity environment helps to maintain a properly balanced and healthy vaginal and urinary tract environment.
There are so many different reasons your vaginal pH could be off. As always it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider to look at and identify all of the potential causes & if probiotics for women benefits might help.
Common Causes For An Abnormal Vaginal pH
While a “typical” pH exists for many women, it’s surprisingly easy for pH to fluctuate on any given day, month, week for each individual person based on what kind of lifestyle they lead and where they’re at in their cycle. Period blood is less acidic than the vagina, so menstruating weeks might shift the balance slightly. Semen might also affect things because it is basic — not that kind of basic, just a pH level that is more alkaline and “basic.”
When the vaginal pH levels start to rise, different kinds of bacteria may become more dominant and may affect the overall environment as opposed to the important Lactobacillus needed to better support a self-maintained and healthy vagina.
Best Daily Vitamin For Women: Innate Response Women’s One Daily
Probiotics aren’t the only thing that women need to help support the body’s many functions. As a woman, there are extra needs like replenishing iron stores during menstruation and vitamins to promote bone health. That’s where a daily vitamin comes into the mix. If you’re already taking a probiotic, just add a daily vitamin like the Innate Response Women’s One Daily, and really take your health into your own hands.
The Innate Response Women’s One Daily is non-GMO verified, certified glyphosate residue-free, Certified B Corp, certified kosher, and tested for more than 125 different herbicides and pesticides. You may feel more balanced with a daily vitamin that not only replenishes essential nutrients that body needs to function well but a brand that is committed to best practices for your health and also the environment.
To learn more about maintaining a healthy vaginal pH, along with all the details about probiotics and your body, continue reading through this guide.
How To Maintain A Healthy Vaginal pH
In addition to taking a probiotic or a multivitamin among other things there are other practical ways you can do to better support vaginal and urinary tract health as well as pH.
You can help maintain a healthy vaginal pH by:
- Taking probiotics that contain strains commonly found in the vagina. When taking probiotics for vaginal health, you’re also nurturing another important microbiome on the way — your gut.
- Stop using scented products on your lady bits. Unfortunately, that means no more bath bombs, scented soaps, or scented menstruation products. It’s normal to have a certain amount of mild vaginal odor throughout different stages of your menstrual cycle. Using scented products might make you feel better mentally, but it’s disrupting your body’s natural pH. This also applies to using baby wipes and other chemical-laden products that aren’t your vagina’s friend.
- If you’re struggling to keep an acidic environment and you’re sexually active, it might be worthwhile to utilize some type of barrier method that helps prevent seminal fluid from coming into contact with your body. Sometimes a sexual partner’s body interacts with your natural vaginal microbiome in a way that impacts the pH levels.
- Pay attention to your underwear. Bacteria can thrive in moist environments. Choose your underwear with care, opting for breathable, natural, and absorbent fabrics like cotton. It’s also worthwhile to ensure your underwear are washed with scent-free detergents and changing into clean underwear often if you experience moisture buildup during the day. Going commando during the night is a helpful way to allow your bits to breathe, too.
How Do Probiotics Work With The Vagina
Incorporating probiotics for women’s health into your diet is a great way to feed the beneficial bacteria living inside your body, including the vagina. Probiotics, like the vagina-friendly lactobacilli, can be taken in different ways that include:
- Orally through fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, and yogurt.
- Orally through probiotic capsules.
- Vaginal insertion of probiotics
While inserting vaginal probiotics may be considered as an option for women, there isn’t much research on probiotics used in this manner for vaginal health. So doing your due diligence and consulting with a trusted healthcare provider is always advisable when working to maintain or restore balance to the vaginal microbiome.
When introducing probiotics into the body for support of the vaginal and urinary tract environment, the most studied strain is Lactobacillus acidophilus. Three other notable strains for vaginal health include Lactobacillus fermentum, lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus reuteri. It is believed that these strains may function in a variety of ways to support vaginal health — adhering to the vaginal walls and surfaces, supporting the proper balance within the vaginal environment making it potentially more difficult for harmful bacteria to flourish.
Do Probiotics For Women’s Health Benefit The Gut Too
Probiotics are likely to benefit all the microbiomes in the body when taken orally. While probiotics formulated specifically for women’s health typically have strains with a strong presence in the vagina and urinary tract, these same probiotics may aid in digestion and help maintain the balance of bacteria in the gut. While women’s probiotics are targeting a specific part of the body, it’s possible to find broad-spectrum probiotics full of many different strains that may benefit the gut too.
What Are Pre And Postbiotics
Prebiotics, like Inulin (often referred to as fiber and noted as FOS), feed the bacteria on its way to its destination. Especially in probiotic supplements, prebiotics are essential to nourish the probiotics, so they survive from the factory to your body. Probiotics need prebiotics so they can perform their functions properly for women’s health. Inulin and prebiotics are naturally consumed in a healthy diet rich in veggies and other foods.
Postbiotics are essentially the “waste” of probiotics. The probiotics feed on the prebiotics, and then the leftover materials from the probiotics are postbiotics. Postbiotics are believed to help support the gut microbiome in a number of ways including the fact that these compounds can be vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and other important compounds the support the digestive system as a whole. While research on postbiotics is limited and relatively new, initial research has been promising on the probiotics for women benefits of this so-called “waste” or what I like to call “helpful byproducts”.
Final Thoughts On The Best Probiotics For Women
If you’re a woman seeking ways to maintain a healthy pH and vaginal flora, probiotics for women’s health may be an excellent option for you. You can obtain these powerful bacteria in many forms — it’s all about finding what works best for your body. The good thing about Probulin’s Total Care Women’s UT Probiotic is they are shelf-stable and designed to survive and arrive alive in your body. So you can take these microorganisms on the go and know that you’re doing everything you can to support the communities that live inside of your body. Understanding your body, how it functions, and what it’s telling you are the first steps towards a healthier, happier you.